A beginner's tutorial on ... geographical maps


Your biggest problem with maps used to be learning how to fold a paper road map. Today, with the advent of GPS, Google Maps, and location-specific data, the bar has been raised! ... you now need to know how to plot your data on a map!

Below are several examples of different kinds of maps you can create with SAS/GRAPH to help analyze your data. And at the bottom of the blog, you will find a link to the full tutorial, with easy step-by-step directions for creating all of these types of maps -- three cheers for FREE tutorials!

Basic Maps

Custom Color Binning

Creating Blank Maps

Subsetting Maps

Importing Maps (such as zip code maps)


And, as promised, here are links to the PDF files for the tutorial:


Mapping Tutorial

Do you like the format of this tutorial?  What other kinds of charts/graphs/maps would you like to learn about?  I'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions!

Click here to see my other tutorials on creating basic graphs!


About Author

Robert Allison

The Graph Guy!

Robert has worked at SAS for over a quarter century, and his specialty is customizing graphs and maps - adding those little extra touches that help them answer your questions at a glance. His educational background is in Computer Science, and he holds a BS, MS, and PhD from NC State University.


  1. Hi,

    I have the zipcodes of areas in my table, and I want to know the geographical spread of the data points on a world map.
    Is it possible in SAS?

    • Robert Allison

      SAS' Proc Geocode can provide a lat/long centroid estimate for US zipcodes, and you can then plot those US lat/longs on a US (or world) map. (But we don't currently have a way to geocode zipcodes from all countries of the world.)

  2. What I am trying to do is work up a GEO map pinpointing where the alumni of my school live, with the ability to click the balloons and get the individual's name, plus a bit more information about them. I would like the ability to call them up by class year and, later, highlight a given geographical area and see who pops up.

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